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Cyber Tensions on the Rise in Asia

Monday, August 16, 2010 | 3:58 PM Leave a comment Go to comments

As Korea commemorated Liberation Day yesterday, marking the anniversary of freedom from Japan, The Korea Times reported that online tensions were high between the two nations.

Calling it a “sensitive day” for the two countries, The Times noted that both Japan and Korea remained on “high alert” in the cyber realm, as thoughts of retaliation were in plain sight.

According to the article, “Last March, the Korean netizens mounted an attack on Japan’s largest Internet site, 2ch (www.2ch.net).  In return, Japanese Internet warriors assaulted the Web site of the South Korea’s Presidential Office.”

But, one day later, as no reports have surfaced regarding a suspected attack, all seems calm on the cyber front…

…That is, “calm” enough for North Korea to launch a Twitter page, creating a stir in the tech world today.

As Time Magazine put it in headline form: “Welcome to Twitter, North Korea.

According to the magazine, “North Korean media outlet Uriminzokkiri created a Twitter account last week: @uriminzok, believed to be updated by the North Korean government itself – a surprising development for the nation that operates under heavy secrecy.”

(At 9 AM ET this morning, the Twitter account had about 200 followers.  At the time of this posting, the count is up to 2,445.)

But an article published by Yonhap, the sole news agency of South Korea, is taking the news more seriously.  Stating that most of the Tweets on the “uriminzok” page denounce South Korea and the US, the news agency reported that some “observers have taken note of North Korea’s expanded use of the Internet for its propaganda offensive.”

The article goes on to mention, “North Korea is also believed to be operating a unit dedicated to hacking foreign websites, including those of the United States and South Korea.”  (Follow with caution, my Twitter friends!)

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense today released an article on the Chinese military, stating “China is developing into an economic superpower, and that growth is allowing the Chinese government to invest more in its military.”

The report, officially deemed “Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China,” went on to note that while China does appear to be building up its cyber assets, its cyber attack capabilities remain “a mystery.”

Additional cybersecurity news follows:

NASA in position to foster global cybersecurity (InformationWeek)

ManTech gets $99M FBI cybersecurity job (Washington Business Journal)

Feds strengthen cybersecurity workforce plans (InformationWeek)

Six reasons to worry about cybersecurity (Government Computer News)

Surge of cybersecurity bureaucracies sparks lucrative opportunities for industry (National Defense Magazine)

Local man catches hacker taking over his computer (California CBS News affiliate)

But do you really want that cybersecurity job? (The Baltimore Sun)

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